Mapping K-Pop Past and Present: Shifting the Modes of Exchange

The global music industry has typically been theorized as a recording industry which embraces and controls the creativity of artists while simultaneously seeking to influence the tastes of consumers in order to generate profits. Keith Howard is the Emeritus Professor of Music at SOAS, University of London. Keith Howard’s research on Korean music began with the aim to discover how people used music at a time of rapid change: his doctoral work was on the folk music of a geographically isolated island, and its preservation. He learnt to perform percussion and melodic instruments, working with celebrated musicians, and this led to two books exploring the construction, repertoire, and pedagogy of musical instruments. Work on shamanism and ‘comfort women’ led to further books, cementing his reputation as an anthropologist as well as an ethnomusicologist. More recently, he has worked extensively in North Korea as well as South Korea, and has published on composition, pop music, political ideology, and historical aspects.

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